Where to go for health care during the holidays

December 22, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Zachary Roman

Local health care professionals are encouraging people to be prepared and know their health care options this holiday season.

On December 16, Headwaters Health Care Centre and the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative Ontario Health Team issued a list of options people can turn to when they’re seeking both emergency and non-emergency care.

“Due to the prevalence of respiratory illnesses like flu, colds, RSV and COVID, we are seeing

much higher volumes in emergency department visits when compared with previous years,”

said Kim Delahunt, President and CEO of Headwaters Health Care Centre.

A November statement from the Ontario Medical Association, the representative of Ontario’s physicians, said that emergency departments have seen “record volumes in recent months, on top of staff shortages and burnout, as patients return to the health-care system in large numbers.”

Tracy Coffin, Executive Director of the Hills of Headwaters Collaborative, said there are precautions people can take during the holidays such as getting their prescriptions filled in advance.

“However, illness and injuries happen, and this information will help people find

care options,” said Coffin in the statement.

For those who have a family doctor, they should be their first point of contact when faced with a non-life-threatening illness or injury. However, according to the Ontario Medical Association, at least 1 million Ontarians do not have regular access to primary care, and this issue can be exacerbated in rural areas.

Those who do not have access to a family doctor (primary care) are encouraged to consider one of the following options: visit their pharmacist; call Health Connect Ontario at 811; visit a walk-in clinic; or access virtual urgent care through the William Osler Health System.

Virtual urgent care can be accessed at the following link:

Virtual urgent care is offered on a first-come, first-served basis via scheduled video or audio call appointments. People can make appointments online on weekdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Parents and caregivers can book appointments on behalf of others, and to qualify for a visit a patient must be at least three months of age. 

In-person urgent care is available at Peel Memorial in Brampton 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Emergency care is available at the Headwaters Health Care Centre emergency department 24/7 as well. As always, those with immediate life-threatening injuries or conditions should call 911.

The holiday season is also a time when local health care professionals see an increased need for mental health support services. Persons 18 years of age or older can call the 24/7 Crisis Support Peel Dufferin line for support at 905-278-9036 or 1-888-811-2222. Persons under the age of 18 can receive 24/7 support by calling Dufferin Child and Family Services at 519-941-1530.

As before, those who need emergency services should call 911.

A comprehensive list of health care options for Caledon residents can be found online at and

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